Barebacking refers to unprotected anal sex between gay men. Many people are confused that this practice exists when, not too long ago, the gay community was devastated by the effects of AIDS.
It is important to understand that gay men have unprotected sex for many of the same reasons that straight folks and lesbians do. People think it feels better; it promotes intimacy; it is more spontaneous; and of course, it can be safe if both partners are infection free.
However, there are a few additional reasons why gay men might choose to have unprotected sex, and some people have suggested that issues of low self-esteem and the desire to feel part of a community also play a role. Also, for teens who did not live through the early AIDS crisis, safety might not seem as pressing.